Here’s an interesting infographic from Firmex, a provider of cloud-based virtual data rooms for law firms, on the rise of attempts to hack law firms, both by APT (advanced persistent threats) and spear phishing – crafting a convincing email purportedly from a trusted source that, when opened, infects the victim’s computer.

According to Jan Legnitto, a US investigative journalist on criminal justice and intelligence issues, “law firms are a back door to clients’ confidential information.” Lawyers have privileged access to highly sensitive information about their clients, and hackers know it. In 2011, an estimated 80 major US law firms were hacked. And, of course as we all now following the NSA/PRISM revelations, it is not just criminal hackers, commercial competitors and foreign governments who are doing the hacking, it is also our own governments.